By Ngartia

Courtesy of Mutua Matheka

You ask me friend,
if I am from this sinning city?
No I’m not from here.

I was born where the weaver birds sing
repairing their nests at the rise of the sun.
I suckled under the white Kirinyaga peaks
where dew sparkles
and clear rivers flow
coldly meandering to the distant blue hills.

My infant eyes saw monkeys first
then elephants that raped the farms
then men drumming tins and
brandishing embers.

When the beasts were away,
We would sing the night away.
With stories of Njogu Kimuitu
and corrupted missionary hymns.
Our voices would match the skies
dark,splashed with a pailful of glitters
They were virgins, the skies, like we,
touched not by the manly hand of civilization
except for an occasional airplane.

I knew where hares bore,
where antelopes lay,
which berries were sweet
and which not to eat…
Which wood would crackle.

I’m from where the Dorobo raid
in the night, screams puncturing the serenity.
Where we share a basin
to wash our feet hardened by thorns,
under a soot clad roof.

I’m from where neighbours share salt
where kids cycle below the crossbars
where waterfalls steam and tadpoles swim
as majestic trees watch another
century pass by.
I’m from where the Maumau fought
near the great rock that crashed the elders.

I’m from where Meja’s boys raided,
in the first pages of “carcass for
Where the water quenches,
Where cows have names,
Where girls wear no make up,
where boys have no swag.

NO! I’m not from this sickening city.